The Brothers of St. Francis Xavier (BFX) in the Diocese of Pathein in the Ayeyarwady Region of Myanmar celebrated the 25 years of religious service, March 26.
Some Brothers also made their final vows on the same day after their eight-day annual retreat.
Three Brothers Jupiter, Innocent, and Kenny are jubilee celebrants, and three Brothers Matthias Bo Bo, Valentine Aung Ko Lin, and Victor Myo Nay Aung made their final commitments to the congregation.
Brother Innocent could not join the celebration due to political unrest in his mission area.
Brother Jupiter, one of the jubilee celebrants, said, "I thank my relatives and friends for their prayers because I could reach this anniversary of my religious life.”
“I am grateful to my parents, brothers, and sisters who accompany me with their prayers,” He continued.
Brother Matthias Bo Bo, who made the perpetual vows, said, “I give thanks to God for having given me this joyful day.”
In consideration of the difficulties of his near and far friends, Brother Bo Bo said, “I am happy but on the other hand, I feel sad for people who are facing hardships now due to the current political situation in the country. I offered prayers for them during our eight-day retreat.”
“God calls me to this religious life. He blesses me despite my sinfulness and weaknesses. There are times I failed in many ways and am trying to be faithful to my religious life. I am determined to face any challenges with God’s grace," he added.
Father Henry Eikhlein, the diocesan administrator of Pathein diocese offered the Mass for the occasion at 6:30 am at the Mother House of the Congregation located in Mayanchaung village in the Township of Pathein.
In his homily, reflecting on the gospel of the day (Luke 18,9-14), Father Eikhlein said, “We need to discover and know ourselves as sinners before Jesus.”
Quoting the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, he shared, "I never pray for success, but I pray for faithfulness only."
Father Eikhlein continued, “We need to reflect on our faithfulness. It is important that we need not only be truthful but also continue to be faithful. Faithfulness is a success.”
“Faithfulness results in integrity. In authenticity, there arises the essence and the fragrance of goodness. Truthfulness is the power of God. Our fidelity is the core of our life, the crux of religious life.”
“The more faithful we are to our vows, the more our value increases. Our vows are our values. So, our value depends on the vows we profess. When we are faithful, we spread the essence of the goodness of God in our surroundings. The lifestyle of the faithful persons is already a mission,” reminded the diocesan administrator.
Before the Mass ended, Brother La Aung, on behalf of Brother Superior General thanked all the participants.
"Since it is the time when the younger Brothers are going to lead the congregation, kindly help us with your prayers and your support,” he said.
Around 200 Catholics including priests, brothers, and nuns took part in the celebration.
RVA News was informed that due to political and health crises, some Brothers of the Congregation could not participate.
In 1942, Bishop Provost (MEP), a French missionary, founded the congregation. At present, there are 81 members in the community.
(With inputs from Jimmy Saw Ei Taw)
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